By News Team
18th December 2020
The final Premier League action before Christmas takes place on Monday with an intriguing double header.
First up is a teatime teaser which see Wolves on the hunt for more points in their top six push, facing a tricky trip to struggling Burnley. Next up, stuttering Chelsea bid to get their title push back on track with a tricky looking home game against fierce London rivals West Ham.
We preview all the action.
Thrilling London derby at the Bridge?
Frank Lampard has cut a forlorn figure on the touchline at times this season already and certainly after watching his Chelsea side lose two games in a row they could – and probably should – have won.
First, they became the first team this season not to find a way to unpick England keeper Jordan Pickford in the 1-0 defeat at Everton. Then they turned a win into a draw and then turned that into an unlikely loss at Wolves when they were caught out by a late Pedro Neto sucker punch. It was pretty hapless stuff, and at times, Chelsea have looked too naive to be considered genuine title challengers.
They desperately need to get things back on track in this one but set-piece kings West Ham will present an awkward challenge – even more so considering the Blues have won just one of the last six meetings between the sides and allowed the Hammers to do the double over them last season.
With just one defeat in their last nine, West Ham go into this game just one point behind Chelsea and their fans are again dreaming of a European chase. That is likely to prove beyond them in the long term, but those bubbles have every chance of flying high again on Monday if they can get the opener. Sebastian Haller will be high on confidence after his overhead strike against Crystal Palace and he looks the best bet for the Hammers at 17/2 to open the scoring.
Chelsea’s Timo Werner and Olivier Giroud both have eight goals in all competitions, three more than Tammy Abraham. Werner is 16/5 to get the opener and a shade off odds-on at 10/11 to score at any time.
Wolves on the Wander for more points
Nuno Espirito Santo saw his side put in a stellar second-half performance to come from behind to beat Chelsea thanks to a 95th-minute winner from top talent Pedro Neto on Tuesday. It was just the answer Nuno was looking for after his side were outclassed by Liverpool and then beaten at home by Midland rivals Aston Villa in their previous two outings.
Wanderers, still missing star striker Raul Jimenez, could have been down and out by half-time against the Blues but a Daniel Podence goal drew them level and they finished the game well as Chelsea tired. Yes, Neto was fortunate to still be on the pitch by the time of his 95th minute winner but there was no doubting his pace and classy finish.
It was only the third time this season Wolves had scored more than one goal in a game and with Burnley usually more miserly than Scrooge on their own patch, it’s hard to see many goals in this one.
Since a 5-0 stuffing by Manchester City, the Clarets have tightened things up at the back as Sean Dyche has got key players back in front of the superb Nick Pope. Burnley have also had the better of things between themselves and Wolves recently, winning three of the last eight games with four others ending in stalemate. With that in mind, Wolves look short enough at 6/5 to win, with Burnley a 13/5 shot.
However, this looks more likely to be a low-scoring draw. It’s 9/2 it finishes 1-1 and 6/1 it ends goalless. Goals look sure to be at a premium but Chris Wood is 4/1 favourite to be the first goalscorer, with Neto 9/2 and Podence 5/1.